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The Latest: GOP fundraising off Griffin photo controversy

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/2/2017
FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2016 file photo, comedian Kathy Griffin poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles. Sen. Al Franken has dis-invited Griffin from an event promoting his new book, "Giant of the Senate." This is the latest fallout after the comedian posed with a likeness of President Donald Trump's severed head. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2016 file photo, comedian Kathy Griffin poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles. Sen. Al Franken has dis-invited Griffin from an event promoting his new book, "Giant of the Senate." This is the latest fallout after the comedian posed with a likeness of President Donald Trump's severed head. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on Kathy Griffin (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

The California Republican Party is soliciting donations based on images of Kathy Griffin posing with the likeness of President Donald Trump's bloody, severed head.

An email sent Friday afternoon called Griffin's photo shoot disrespectful and obscene. The email sought donations to fight what it called "the left's blatant disrespect."

National party spokesman Michael Reed released a statement earlier Friday criticizing Griffin and her comments at a news conference that Trump and his family were attempting to destroy her life and career.

Griffin and celebrity photographer Tyler Shields posted photo and video of her posing with fake head on Tuesday.

Griffin apologized within hours but has been fired from her most high-profile job as co-host of CNN's New Year's Eve celebration. Five of her upcoming performances have also been canceled.

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10:25 a.m.

A Republican Party spokesman is attacking Kathy Griffin's press conference in which she said President Donald Trump and his family are targeting her over a controversial photo shoot.

Party spokesman Michael Reed says Griffin is wrong to play the victim after she posed with the likeness of Trump's bloody, severed head.

Reed says Trump and his family have every right to condemn Griffin, who apologized for the images but said Friday she would continue to mock the president.

Griffin and her attorney accused Trump and his family of trying to end the 56-year-old comedian's career and said the shoot was inspired by comments Trump made about television journalist Megyn Kelly in 2015.

Reed says the press conference was an attempt for Griffin to turn the attention back on herself, and he mocked her for having no career left.

Griffin said five of her upcoming performances have been canceled. She was also fired by CNN from a decade-long gig hosting a New Year's Eve celebration with Anderson Cooper.

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9:40 a.m.

Kathy Griffin says she is receiving death threats over her photo shoot in which she posed with the likeness of President Donald Trump's severed head.

Griffin says the photo and video shoot were motivated by Trump's comments in August 2015 about then-Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly. Trump referred to blood coming out of her eyes and other parts of her body.

The 56-year-old comedian said those statements prompted her to pose with the Trump severed head, which was a mask mounted on a Styrofoam wig mold.

Griffin and her attorneys appeared at a free-wheeling news conference Friday morning in which Griffin cried and again apologized for the shoot. Griffin grew more combative as the news conference went on and said she had nothing to say to Trump's wife, Melania, or his young son, Barron.

Attorney Dmitry Gorin, who is a criminal lawyer representing Griffin in a Secret Service investigation, said the shoot was parody and the comedian did nothing wrong. He said Griffin is cooperating with the agency.

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9:20 a.m.

Kathy Griffin's attorney says the comedian has been contacted by the Secret Service in the wake of her controversial photo shoot in which she posed with the likeness of President Donald Trump's severed head.

Attorney Lisa Bloom says Griffin has retained a criminal attorney, who also appeared at a Friday press conference in which Griffin apologized again for the images. Griffin said she is the subject of a Secret Service investigation, but did not provide any further information about the inquiry or if she was cooperating.

Griffin says she will not refrain from joking about Trump in the future.

Since the comedian posed with a likeness of President Donald Trump's severed head, she has been fired from her annual gig hosting CNN's New Year's Eve special and several performances have been canceled at venues across the U.S.

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8:29 a.m.

Sen. Al Franken has dis-invited Griffin from an event promoting his new book, "Giant of the Senate."

Franken says he has heard from constituents "who were rightfully offended," leading the Minnesota Democrat to change his mind from earlier, when he had said she was still welcome. He says he takes seriously that Minnesotans were upset by her behavior, which he characterizes as "inappropriate and not something that should be anywhere" in the national discourse.

It's the latest fallout after the comedian posed with a likeness of President Donald Trump's severed head.

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6:50 a.m.

Backlash against Kathy Griffin continues to grow with at least four venues announcing that they had canceled her performances after the comedian posed with a likeness of President Donald Trump's severed head.

Venues in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania have canceled shows. The Community Arts Theater in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, posted on its website that the show had been dropped "due to the recent controversy surrounding Kathy Griffin and the concern for the safety and security of our patrons and staff."

Earlier this week, CNN said Griffin would no longer co-host its live New Year's Eve special from Times Square and another show was canceled at a New Mexico casino. An endorsement deal with Squatty Potty also ended.

Griffin, 56, apologized within hours of the images appearing online Tuesday, but they were met with swift and widespread condemnation.

Trump later tweeted that Griffin "should be ashamed of herself" for posting the images.

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4:09 a.m.

Kathy Griffin and her attorney have scheduled a news conference for Friday morning to discuss the fallout from the comedian posing with a likeness of President Donald Trump's severed head.

Attorney Lisa Bloom says Griffin will discuss the photo and video she and celebrity photographer Tyler Shields posted on Tuesday. The images prompted CNN to fire Griffin from her decade-long gig hosting a New Year's Eve special with Anderson Cooper.

Griffin apologized within hours of the images appearing online. They were met with swift and widespread condemnation.

Trump later tweeted that Griffin "should be ashamed of herself" for posting the images.

The 56-year-old comic has faced controversies before for her abrasive humor, but none as widespread as the one generated by Tuesday's images.

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